Thursday, January 27, 2011

Car chases!

This is fun: Marc Myers at Jazz Wax interviews Loren Janes, one of the stunt drivers on Steve McQueen's Bullitt. This film was slightly before my time- I'm more of the debased Smokey and the Bandit/Man with the Golden Gun/Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry generation- but the aesthetic is in my DNA. I was very young when these earlier-period, late 60's-early 70's car films came out; they work on a more subliminal level, and are more meaningful to me than the things made when I was more aware, in the Herbie Rides Again era. Plus they're classier; they don't have the goddam banjo music, chickens, and middle-aged rednecks punching each other in the gut and hurling obscenities at each other.

Still, I have to confess I'm a little more of a Frankenheimer-and-Friedkin man- Bullitt never quite made it onto my radar. McQueen's Le Mans resonates more for me. After the break are clips from some of my favorites, including Grand Prix, French Connection, C'Etait un Rendezvous, and To Live and Die in LA.

Grand Prix - thrilling opening credits:

Le Mans - Beginning of the race:

Le Mans - End of the race:

C'Etait un Rendezvous:

French Connection:

To Live and Die in LA - Set-up


Ronin - Paris chase

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